Enlisting in the Royal Marines in 1965 as a Junior Marine, and on completion of basic training Willy Stocks saw service in 45 Commando Royal Marines during the South Arabian Campaign, serving for 2 years as a ship’s Marine on HMS Bacchante, this was followed by a 4 year posting to 40 Commando Royal Marines which included operations in Northern Ireland and Cyprus, he was then posted to Malta on a married accompanied draft to 41 Commando Royal Marines, on completion of this draft he successfully passed the Swimmer Canoeist Course in Royal Marines Poole, and on completion he joined the Special Boat Service Royal Marines which included operations in the South Atlantic. On promotion to Regimental Sergeant Major in 1989 he served with 3 Commando Brigade Headquarters and Signal Squadron, Royal Marines Poole, 40 Commando Royal Marines and finally as the Corps Regimental Sergeants Major in Royal Marines Plymouth. The two highlights of his military career was passing the SBS selection in 1977 and passing the Warrant Officer Class 1/Regimental Sergeant Majors Selection Board.
In March 1995 he was appointed as a House of Lords Doorkeeper in the Department of the Gentlemen Usher of the Black Rod, in Westminster Palace.
In 2003 he was appointed Regimental Adjutant of the Special Boat Service (Civil Servant) of which his primary role was as the Secretary of the Special Boat Service Association, which was a very young Military Charity. In addition to his duties as the Secretary he was responsible for all Regimental Matters in the Service, in particular being responsible for the welfare of fatalities and casualties in the Special Boat Service. This period was by far the most challenging for Willy. In 2012, due to the success of the Association in terms of Membership, Fundraising, Governance and Service Delivery the role of Secretary was changed to that of Chief Executive Officer, which required the Chief Executive to be directly accountable to the Board of Trustees.
Finally Willy has been involved in the Special Boat Service Association since its inception in 1998, initially as a Founder Member, Trustee, Secretary and Chief Executive. Married to Gwenda, a classical musician who also teaches the Clarinet and Saxophone, they both enjoy walking their 2 dogs, Charlie and Millie, cycling and traveling abroad in their VW campervan.